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Edger and trimmer operators must make constant decisions in short time periods on the amount of materials to remove from boards produced in the sawmill. Their decisions directly affect the total volume, grade, and value of the boards, and they therefore directly affect the total value of lumber produced. In recent years, many softwood sawmills have installed computer controlled edgers and trimmers with scanners and optimizers to achieve higher recovery rates. Before similar, relatively expensive, technologies can be seriously evaluated for the hardwood industry, however, the current performance of edging and ·trimming operations must be known. Using a sample of 3360 boards, compiled from 37 hardwood sawmills located in 16 states, lumber grade, length, width, and dollar values obtained in edging and trimming operations were compared with values predicted by USDA Forest Service scientists for the same lumber. Significant differences between edging and trimming performance and predicted values were determined via statistical tests. A linear regression model was formulated to study the influence of overedging, overtrirnming, and grade difference on the percentage of predicted dollar value achieved. It was found that most sawmills edged a relatively low proportion of their total production. In 99% of the boards, edging and trimming operations achieved similar values for grade and length to those predicted by the USDA scientists. The value of the lumber increased significantly as the amount of overedging decreased.


El-Radi, T.E., S.H. Bullard, and P.H. Steele. 1994. A performance evaluation of edging and trimming operations in U.S. hardwood sawmills. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 24:1450-1456.



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